May 2024
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Sunday Salon

My Sunday is nearly over and I haven’t had a chance to post until now, thanks to an internet outage today.  Luckily, the internet has returned, and just in time!  I’ve been reading two books today – The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale, a book I received from Bloomsbury on Friday, and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, which I’m reading because of the many raves about it on LibraryThing.

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher is quite interesting, although so far doesn’t quite live up to the hype that the back cover presents me with.  The mystery is “solved” within the first 100 pages by the detective, but the rest of the book seems to be taken up with how the public comes around to his viewpoint.  It’s much more interesting as a cultural and social study than as a murder mystery, which I am enjoying more than I think I would have enjoyed it otherwise!

As for Outlander, I am not in love with it yet.  This is not great as I’m 665 pages in and my edition is 850 pages long, and I’m sure everyone else who recommended it to me was hooked by now.  It’s the sort of thing where I like it while I’m reading it, but I feel no real compulsion to return to it and read more.  I’ve been having this issue with a lot of books I’ve been reading lately.  I’ve finally started to feel that Jamie and Claire may actually love each other, but I think the book could easily have been trimmed of numerous unnecessary episodes and brought down to a more regular novel length.  Also, something in particular occurred around the middle which makes it difficult for me to really connect with the characters – they seem to accept everything far too easily.  The addition of Jamie’s family has helped a ton, though, as I find them quite enchanting.  I will probably finish it tomorrow, and then we will see if I am compelled to acquire the next book in the series.

Actually, I will probably finish both of these books tomorrow, so expect proper reviews shortly!  They’re not the most momentous book-related moment of my week, though – that had to be receiving five ARCs on Friday, and then yet another on Saturday.  I have no idea why they all came together, but it was a wonderful day!

Happy Sunday everyone!


4 comments to Sunday Salon

  • As I understand it from the reviews I’ve seen one of the most interesting aspects of Summerscale’s book is the way in which that particular case has influenced detective fiction with writers developing ideas from the way in which that murder was solved. Have you found this to be the case?

  • Wow, six ARCs in two days – what riches!

    I’ve been tempted to try “Outlander” a few times, but always put off by its chunkster
    length. At the rate I read, it would take me all year to finish. I’ll have to check back
    for your review.

  • Meghan

    Ann – definitely yes. That is definitely interesting and she does go into detail about how the case inspired a great deal of detective fiction, as did Detective-Inspector Whicher. That’s part of why it’s a much more interesting social study than it is a mystery – it influenced so much for its time and books are a part of that.

    JLS – I was quite happy! I finished Outlander last night, so my review should be coming up soon. I still didn’t manage to fall in love with it, but I liked it.

  • You mean I might not be the ONLY person in the world to not love OUTLANDER? I kept reading it and thinking, “OK, everybody loves this. When does it become irresistible?” For me, never.